Receiver discusses football team’s offense, future

Daily Egyptian: How do you feel about the quarterback position going forward?

John Lantz: I think each year Kory (Faulkner) has gotten better, and he’s gained more confidence in us. I know MyCole (Pruitt) has been the main target in our offense, but I think he has expanded in that role. Kory has incorporated more players into our offense like me, (LaSteven McKinney) and some of the other guys.

DE: The team will be without senior running backs Steve Strother and Mulku Kalokoh next year. Sophomore Mika’il McCall will still be on the team, but how do you replace the 685 yards Strother and Kalokoh rushed for?

JL: Talking with the coaching staff, we feel confident in Mika’il as our power back, but we’ve obviously got to recruit and try to get some guys to come in and take up the role that Steve and Mulku had for us. They were great players, and we definitely need a quick guy out there as well.

DE: McKinney came to SIU as a running back before he switched to receiver. Any chance he moves to the backfield?

JL: There have been some rumors of him coming back. I think … he feels more confident at receiver, and I think that’s where he wants to stay.

DE: The offense struggled at times this season, what needs to change to keep more drives alive next year?

JL: We’ve got to be more consistent as an offense. We’ve got to make sure that we know that turnovers are going to cost us games. We can’t have stupid penalties (and) stupid mistakes. We can’t fumble the ball. That’s just something we’ve got to work on and realize the importance of a turnover in a game.

DE: On the season, the team converted 30% percent of its 169 third downs. How can the team raise that percentage?

JL: I think it starts with first and second down. A lot of times, we would get penalties on first and second down whether it was a false start or something along those lines that really backed us up and put us in bad situations. We never really got opportunities like third and short where we felt comfortable.

DE: What are your offseason goals?

JL: I just need to get better, personally. As an offense, we need to continue to grow. Me and Kory are going to keep building our relationship together so that he can trust me and get the ball to me when I’m open. There’s plenty to work on.

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About Ben Conrady

Ben Conrady can be reached at bconrady@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext. 282.

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